1. Save Space
If you don’t have a huge room—or any room at all—for your baby’s nursery, use these ideas to make the most of your space:
Look for space-saving gear, such as a dresser that is tall and skinny (secure it to the wall for safety reasons), a swing that folds easily when not in use and a good closet organizer to maximize your storage space.
Think outside the box
Instead of a traditional crib, consider purchasing a baby hammock, which takes up much less space (and looks super cool). You can also transform a dresser that’s the right height into a changing table, or buy a smaller changing alternative.
Before you buy something, think about it: do you really need it? About half the time, the answer will be no. When you’re short on space, the necessities will suffice. (There’s no rule that says you can’t change diapers on the couch, and a simple changing pad can cost less than $20 and take up no space at all.)
Appearance is everything
To make a tiny space look bigger, use bright white paint on the walls and opt for light-colored furniture and decor. For some reason, if it looks bigger, it feels bigger.
2. Keep it Safe
Decorating your nursery can be full of frills and fun, but you also have to keep an eye out for things that could harm your baby.
Gather cords into neat bundles and tuck behind furniture. Pay special attention to cords on blinds —put them out of reach or cut them to prevent strangulation.
Make furniture kid-friendly by padding any corners your kiddo may bump into. Sharp angles can create nasty boo-boos!
Invest in plastic plug-covers. They’re cheap, easy to install and instant lifesavers.
Paints containing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) can let off toxic fumes. Try non lead-based, VOC free paint when decorating your nursery.
When your kid reaches the crawling and climbing age, top-heavy furniture poses a big problem. Keep shelves lightly decorated with soft, simple objects.
Buy a smooth, clean crib that meets modern safety regulations with slats no more than 2 3/8 inches apart and a snug-fitting mattress.
Make sure your smoke detectors are working and install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.
[tip]: Crawl around on all fours to see the world from your baby’s perspective. You’ll be able to identify several “danger zones” that you may have missed at first glance.
3. Save Money
Think of your nursery as your closet—pick a couple of classic, fabulous eye-catching pieces you can’t live without, then mimic designer style with cheaper “fillers.”
Find the inner beauty of items you already have, or can pick up cheap from a local thrift store. Bring new life to that nightstand in your garage by having your hubby douse it in a quick layer of kiddie safe paint!
Buy furniture that will grow with your baby, like a convertible crib.
Although you’ll undoubtedly be unable to resist several of the cutest, newest baby toys, consider passing up a few of them for safe household items your baby is sure to love. We guarantee your tot will get more enjoyment out of a box, a whisk and a TV remote than you could ever imagine.
You’re not the only one with a baby—talk to other moms in your neighborhood, playgroup or at work to see if they’re putting any nursery items up for grabs or if they want to start a toy swap.